Younger Voters Disenchanted With Obama?
For starters, the dominant political issue in the United States right now is the economy — and this is especially true for the newest entrants to the workforce. A new national poll of 18- to 29-year-olds by Harvard’s Institute of Politics released Thursday showed that in an open-ended question — meaning without prompting by the question — 74 percent of respondents cited the economy as the most important issue.
On that issue, only 32 percent approve of the way President Obama is handling the economy. This mirrors a finding in a poll done in April by a group called Generation Opportunity. The Harvard survey is overseen by John Della Volpe, a Democrat; Generation’s Opportunity’s researcher is Kellyanne Conway, a Republican who was retained this week by Newt Gingrich. But both are highly respected professionals — and their data dovetailed neatly.
The upshot is that Obama has work to do among his most loyal generational cohort. In the Harvard poll, under-30s believe by a 4-1 margin that America is headed in the “wrong” direction. This is a number that would spell trouble for any incumbent, and not just one whose candidacy promised “hope” and whose mantra “Change you can believe in” was tailored to young voters.